Unconventional Love Stories

As many of us have learned over the years, true love doesn’t always turn out the way we thought it would, or show up when we want it to. As we grow and learn to be better givers and receivers of love, these unconventional love stories remind us to be open to romance where we least expect it.
  1. Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
    Attention, suitors—I am such a sucker for a Spotify or YouTube playlist. If you are, too, you’ll love the memoir LOVE IS A MIX TAPE. Rob Sheffield brings readers back to the days of tape decks and Nirvana by talking us through the loves and losses he memorialized on fifteen of his favorite mix tapes.
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
    Do you have a “must-have” list for your potential partners? Meet Don Tillman—whose list is sure to put yours to shame. He’s an oddly charming yet socially challenged genetics professor who has set out on The Wife Project. When he meets Rosie Jarman, everything he thought he wanted goes out the window.
  3. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
    In the very near future, in a world where the global economy is collapsing and romantic prospects are judged with the click of a button and everyone is obsessed with being young forever (sound familiar?), Lenny Abramov still has the audacity to look for love.
  4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    The only thing cute enough to warm my cold New Yorker heart is penguins in love. This illustrated children’s book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and, with the help of a kindly zookeeper, raised Tango, a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.
  5. The First Bad Man by Miranda July
    Sometimes love arrives in the form of a slap in the face that’s just what we needed to get back to reality. When Cheryl, a tightly wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone with a perpetual lump in her throat, meets twenty-one-year-old Clee, her eccentrically ordered world explodes—and she unexpectedly finds the love of a lifetime.
  6. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
    When two people at their weakest moments meet, the odds of their love persevering are unlikely. But when Lou, who’s just lost her job and is on the rocks with her boyfriend, meets Will, whose recent motorcycle accident has taken away his desire to live, they find the strongest people they’ve ever known—or loved.
  7. Just Kids by Patti Smith
    In JUST KIDS, Patti Smith details the great love story that is her lovers-then-friends relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Taking readers on a journey through New York City, Coney Island, and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies, this is a tender and artful unconventional love story.
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
    After the World War destroyed most life on earth and most humans have emigrated to Mars, companies begin building incredibly human-like artificial intelligence. It’s so realistic that most people can’t even tell the difference between a “real” human and a “fake.” The relationships and loves that ensue are sure to please fans of science fiction and romance alike.
  9. Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
    Having someone to love when I’m eighty is one of my #lifegoals and that’s why I’m crazy about this novel. Eighty-two-year-old Etta’s greatest unfulfilled wish is to see the sea, and she sets out to walk the two thousand miles from her home to the water. Left only with their memories and their own love for her, her husband, Otto, and neighbor, Russell, wait patiently until she returns.
  10. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
    This love story is for those who want to get out of the “friend zone.” This is a deeply original and unconventional novel about a friends-then-lovers affair that happens between two ranch hands one summer on the range. The bonus with this is that you can watch the movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger afterward. It’s worth it.